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Robotic-Assisted Surgery

Robotic-Assisted Surgery at
Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center

In 2004, Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center was the first to introduce robotic-assisted surgery to East Tennessee, and now the hospital has added more robots to the surgical team. The hospital’s surgical capabilities are transforming the surgery experience for patients in East Tennessee. Fort Sanders Regional provides patients with more options, including minimally invasive and robotic-assisted procedures.

What is Robotic-Assisted Surgery?

Robotic-assisted surgery is minimally invasive and a highly effective alternative to some traditional surgery. Combined with the skills of our surgeons, this computer-based technology enhances the healing and well-being of our surgical patients.

There are different types of surgical robots that can be used in a wide variety of surgical procedures – everything from joint replacements to hysterectomies.

With this innovative procedure, a surgeon uses a robotic arm to manipulate hand controls to perform an operation while viewing 3D, high-resolution images on a computer screen. The high resolution cameras and micro-surgical instruments are powered by state of the art robotic technology. 

Technology can never replace the experience of our skilled surgical team. The surgical robotics system is completely under our surgeon’s control and replicates the surgeon’s movements in real time. It cannot be programmed or make decisions on its own.


  • The surgeon can make fine, quick movements, enabling more intricate procedures
  • Patients experience less damage to healthy tissue
  • Patients typically experience less pain, less blood loss and faster post-operative recovery 
  • Allows for smaller incisions, reducing the risk of infection and causing minimal scarring
  • Robotic-assisted surgery provides better overall patient outcomes, allowing patients to return to daily activities more quickly

Services Available at Fort Sanders
Regional Medical Center

Robotic-assisted surgeries at Fort Sanders include many procedures in the following specialties: 

Patient Success Stories

Tending to Her Health 

Sevierville woman is back in the garden after robotic-assisted esophageal surgery 

Jean Beam was referred to Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center board-certified general surgeon Michael Antiporda, MD. With Dr. Antiporda’s guidance, Beam decided to treat her hiatal hernia through robotic-assisted surgery. “Dr. Antiporda said from the outside it looks like you didn’t have much done, but on the inside you had a whole lot done! It’s kind of amazing, really. My recovery was so quick. I had to force myself to wait to do things. He said to wait two months before I could do heavy lifting and pull weeds,” Beam says.

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Third Time’s a Charm

Man’s third hernia repair is the easiest, thanks to robotic assistance

In June 2020,  Frank Hamner had robotic‐assisted surgery performed by Michael Antiporda, MD, at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center. “I’m just amazed by the advances that have been made since my first hernia surgery,” Hamner says. “With the first one, it was an open surgery. The recovery time was much longer, and I had a great deal more pain. The second one, not so much pain. And this third time? I expected it to be a little better, but I was shocked at how easy the recovery was.”

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